Pirates Take Down Southern Miss
Feb. 4, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The East Carolina basketball team improved its Conference USA record Wednesday evening, dropping Southern Miss, 82-79, inside Minges Coliseum. The Pirates rise to 11-10 overall and 3-5 in conference play while the Golden Eagles fall to 13-8 overall and 3-4 in C-USA. Senior Sam Hinnant, with a late free throw, became the 23rd player in program history to net 1,000 for his career.
Southern Miss took a 5-1 lead at the start of the contest, but ECU scored six-straight points to take its first lead of the game at the 17:06 mark. However, the Golden Eagles scored five of the next eight points to regain the advantage, 10-8, with 14:37 remaining in the period. With Southern Miss leading 12-8, sophomore Brock Young ran off five-straight points, including a three-pointer, to return the lead to the Pirates, 13-12, and force a Golden Eagle timeout.
ECU maintained its advantage over the next four minutes, out-scoring Southern Miss 11-9 to hold on to a 24-21 margin at the third media timeout (7:38). The Pirates' lead grew to 10, as they put together an 11-4 run, capped off by a James Legan layup to make the score 35-25 with 3:08 left in the stanza. The Pirates led 41-31 at halftime.
Young paced the Pirates in the first half, scoring 13 while freshman Darrius Morrow produced 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Jeremy Wise was the top scorer for Southern Miss, netting 12 while Courtney Beasley pulled down eight boards. ECU held the advantage from the field, out-shooting the Golden Eagles .375-.355 while also holding a slim 24-21 advantage on the glass. Additionally, the Pirates converted 8-of-10 free throws to aid its first half effort.
Southern Miss came out firing in the second half, cutting the East Carolina lead down to 43-40 at the 15:08 mark. The Golden Eagles rallied to retake the lead, as Wise knocked down two-straight buckets to give his team a 44-43 advantage with 13 minutes left in the game.
The Pirates answered, out-scoring Southern Miss 7-4 to regain the lead at 51-48, but the visitors came right back, taking back a one-point advantage as the clock raced toward the 10 minute mark. ECU edged ahead from there, as Legan drilled a fall-away trey to give the Pirates a 59-55 lead at the third media timeout (7:57).
East Carolina began to pull away, hitting three-consecutive three-pointers to assume a 70-62 advantage with less than three minutes left in the contest. Attempting a late rally, the Golden Eagles sliced their deficit to six with 30 seconds on the clock, but the Pirates refused to relinquish the lead. Southern Miss hit a three with 1.5 seconds remaining, but it was not enough as ECU took the three-point win.
Young led a quintet of Pirates in double-figures as he netted 17 points while Morrow produced his fourth double-double of the season, collecting 10 points and 11 rebounds. Additionally, the senior duo of Legan and Hinnant contributed 14 points apiece while Jamar Abrams pitched in with 12. For the Golden Eagles, Beasley paced the squad in scoring with 23, completing a double-double by adding 13 boards.
Southern Miss held the upper hand from the floor, converting 49 percent of its shots as compared to 40 percent for East Carolina. The Pirates, however, controlled the glass, out-dueling the Golden Eagles by one, 37-36. Both squads took care of the ball, combining for just 12 turnovers (six each).
East Carolina remains at home for its next contest, welcoming UCF to Minges Coliseum on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tip off.